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Sept. 8, 2006

'Pop musical' AIDA stops at Stephens this month

by Anne Krapfl

Tony and Grammy Award-winning AIDA, a musical by Elton John and Tim Rice, comes to Stephens this month for two performances. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23. AIDA is part of the 2006-07 Season at Stephens.

AIDA (pronounced "Ah-EE-da") is based on the 19th-century, four-act opera of the same name by Giuseppe Verdi. It's the story of Aida, daughter of the Ethiopian king whose true identity is unknown to her Egyptian captors; Amneris, the Egyptian princess Aida serves; and Radames, the Egyptian soldier they both love. So, yes, its themes also include loyalty, courage and betrayal.

But this AIDA is not opera, according to John. "It's truly a pop musical with spoken dialogue and all kinds of recognizable song types: urban-based rhythm and blues, gospel-inspired songs, ballads and, of course, Crocodile Rock songs," he said in a statement.

In 2000, AIDA won four Tony Awards, including best actress in a musical and best original music score, and a Grammy Award for best musical show album.

Tickets are $40.50 or $44.50 (with discounts for ISU students and those 18 years and younger), and available from TicketMaster, including the Stephens ticket office.

The Iowa State Center is offering one of six pre-show dinners this season prior to the Friday AIDA performance. Dinners are next door in the Scheman Building. A cash bar social begins at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 and must be purchased by Sept. 19.

stars of AIDA

Casey Elliott (left) stars as Radames and Marja Harmon is Aida in Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA coming to Stephens Sept. 22-23. Submitted photo.